MAN, 80, SEXUALLY ABUSED KIDS FOR 14 YEARS
Sheriff praises three victims
An 80-year-old Rutherglen man is behind bars after being convicted of sexually abusing three sisters over a 14-year period.
Pensioner William Cassells, of Chapel Court, was last week found guilty of inappropriately touching the girls in a conviction the NSPCC says could encourage other victims of historic abuse to come forward.
The offences were committed between 1975 and 1989 at addresses in Castlemilk and Rutherglen.
His youngest victim was only 10 when he began abusing her. The others were 11 and 12 when Cassells sexually assaulted them.
The victims, who are now in their 40s and 50s, told prosecutor Rosemary Guinnane during a trial at the High Court in Glasgow that they told their mother what had happened to them but she did not believe them.
They said that Cassells
would often look after them and when he did he would abuse them.
He denied the allegations but did not give evidence.
The sisters recently decided to bring Cassells to justice for his crimes and reported the historic sexual abuse to the police. After the guilty verdicts were delivered, Ms Guinnane said: “The accused has no previous convictions. He is 80 and lives alone in Rutherglen. His wife is in a care home.”
Judge Tom Hughes told Cassells: “These offences took place over a period of time. You took advantage of young girls. These are very serious offences.
“It may be of some comfort to your victims that the jury accepted they were telling the truth.”
A spokesman for NSPCC Scotland said: “Abuse ruins childhoods and can have a lasting effect well into adulthood.
“These women deserve great credit for having the bravery to come forward and speak out about the ordeals they endured in their youth.
“Victims need to know they will be listened to and supported when they talk to the authorities about what has happened to them, regardless of when a crime took place, and we hope Cassells’ conviction will give others the confidence to speak out and seek justice.”
Cassells was remanded in custody pending sentence on October 11 at the High Court in Edinburgh and has been placed on the sex offenders’ register.
Defence counsel John McElroy will give his plea in mitigation before sentence is passed.
Any adult concerned about the welfare of a child or young person can call the NSPCC helpline for free, 24/7, on 0808 800 5000.
Children can call Childline at any time on 0800 1111.